College football is a special sport for a number of reasons, chief among them the fantastic, intense rivalries that we look forward to every season. There are few things better than a huge rivalry between evenly matched opponents, but some of the sport's top rivalries haven't been very close in recent years.
We went through the results of College Football's top rivalries, and found the 12 games that have been the most lopsided this century. All of these games have been one team in at least 11 of the 15 meetings dating back to 2001. Luckily, for the teams on the losing side, there are no complete shut-outs, but two significant games are at 14-1.
Will the losing teams in these big games reverse their fortune this fall? We still have a few months left before we find out.
12. USC Leads UCLA 11-4
A three-game win streak by the Bruins from 2012-14 is what has prevented this rivalry from looking even more lopsided. Seven of USC's 11 wins over its cross-town rivals this century have been by 20 or more points.
In fairness to UCLA, they did beat USC with a Pac-12 Championship Game bid on the line in 2012 and, most famously, ended the Trojans' national championship hopes in 2006 with a shocking 13-9 win.
When these two teams meet this fall on Nov. 19, we wouldn't be surprised if a Pac-12 South title is on the line.
11. Oregon Leads Stanford 11-4
For a few years, it actually seemed like the Cardinal had the best of the Ducks in this Pac-12 North battle. Stanford won back-to-back games in this series in 2012 and 2013. Outside of that brief streak, the only two Cardinal wins came in 2001 and 2009. The pre-Jim Harbaugh era in Palo Alto was especially ugly. From 2002-2008, Oregon won all seven contests, with the average victory coming by over 22.5 points per game.
After a down 2014 campaign, David Shaw appears to have righted the Cardinal ship, but even during a season that saw the Ducks struggle with injuries, they managed to pull out a 38-36 victory.
">July 6, 2016
These two programs look like they will be battling for the Pac-12 North title for years to come. This season, Stanford is led by dynamic Heisman candidate Christian McCaffrey in the backfield, while Oregon looks to break in transfer quarterback Devon Allen, who has plenty of big-time weapons to throw to. Stanford should be able to cut into the deficit as long as they remain strong, but Oregon has definitely been the dominant force moving forward.Next: Oklahoma Over Oklahoma State >>>10. Oklahoma Leads Oklahoma State 11-4
When these two teams meet annually, Bedlam becomes more than just a name for the rivalry series. The action on the field is often fast-paced, with both teams lighting up the scoreboard. More often than not though, it is the Sooners who wind up on top when the clock hits zero.Oklahoma has won 11 of 15 against its in-state rivals this century, winning blow-outs (58-23 last year, 27-0 in 2009, 52-9 in 2003) and nailbiters (51-48 in 2012, 38-35 in 2004) alike. In fact, other than Oklahoma State winning five times in eight tries from 1995-2002, this entire rivalry has pretty much been dominated by OU.
">November 28, 2015
This year, OU is regarded as a national title contender, while Oklahoma State is seen by many as a Big 12 sleeper and a top-20 program. Expect a close game this time out, whichever team ends up winning.
9. Oregon Leads Oregon State 11-4
All of Oregon State's success against its rival came in the first half of the past 15 years– the Beavers actually held a 4-3 edge in the 21st century until 2008. Since then, it has all gone downhill.
Except for a four-point Oregon win in 2009 and 2013, when the Ducks won on a last-second touchdown, the Civil War hasn't been that civil at all. Oregon has routinely thumped its in-state rival by multiple scores.
The two end the season against each other again in 2016, and while Oregon isn't as highly-rated going into the season as they have been in previous years, they'll still be heavy favorites over the Beavers come late November.
8. Alabama Leads Tennessee 11-4
Since this rivalry --dubbed the "Third Saturday in October" for when the teams typically play--began in 1901, these two teams have taken turns dominating the series. Since 2007, it's been all Alabama. The Crimson Tide have won nine in a row. Prior to that, Tennessee had taken 10 of the last 12.
Overall, this century hasn't been kind to the Vols when they've played 'Bama. In Alabama's 11 victories over UT since 2001, the Tide's average margin of victory has been 19.6 points per game, with four of the wins coming by 30 points or more.
The Vols nearly shocked Alabama on the road last year, and with high expectations for 2016, this might be a good opportunity for them to snap their skid.
7. North Carolina Leads Duke 12-3
This rivalry definitely has more juice on the basketball court, where these two programs are nearly annual national title contenders. They don't have quite as much success on the gridiron, although things have been improving for both the Blue Devils and Tar Heels in recent years. UNC won the ACC Coastal Division during last year's breakout 11-3 campaign. Duke has found success under David Cutcliffe after spending much of its football history as a bottom feeder in the sport.
The Blue Devils have had a bit of very recent success against the Tar Heels, winning the games in 2012 and 2013, but North Carolina has blown out their rival the last two years, including a 66-31 2015 drubbing.
Amazingly, a 3-12 record since the turn of the century is actually a bit of an improvement for Duke. The Blue Devils were completely shut out by North Carolina in the 1990s. Now that is true domination.
6. Florida Leads Tennessee 12-3
Starting when Steve Spurrier took over as Florida's head coach in 1990, the Gators have absolutely dominated Tennessee, taking 20 of 26 match-ups. Most famously, they beat Peyton Manning four years in a row from 1994-97.
At the turn of this century, the Vols seemed poised to turn the tables, winning three of the first four meetings. Since then, Florida has won 11 in a row, and things are to the point that current Gator players basically mark Tennessee down as a win on the schedule.
Florida looks to be back on the right track under Jim McElwain, but Tennessee is the SEC East favorite this season, and the Vols have been tabbed by some as a college football playoff contender. If they can't beat UF this year, who knows when they will again.
5. Georgia Leads Georgia Tech 13-2
The rivalry known as "Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate" hasn't been much of a rivalry lately. Georgia has dominated since 2001, winning 13 out of 15 after the Yellow Jackets won three in a row from 1998-2000.
Georgia Tech's pair of wins were exciting, at least: 45-42 in 2008 and 30-24 in overtime two years ago. Last season's game was not very exciting, a 13-7 slugfest won by the Bulldogs.
">November 28, 2015
New Georgia head coach Kirby Smart beat the Yellow Jackets three times in four seasons as a player. He'll have his first chance against them as a coach on November 26.
4. Wisconsin Leads Minnesota 13-2
The Big Ten loves it some rivalry game trophies, and few are cooler than Paul Bunyan's Axe, awarded to the winner of the game between the Badgers and Gophers. Unfortunately for Minnesota faithful, that axe rarely changes hands. Wisconsin has won 12 games in a row in this rivalry, with Minnesota's last win coming in 2003.
Despite this recent run of Badger domination, Minnesota actually holds the edge in the all-time series in this rivalry. That could change this fall, however. At 58-59-8 all-time, Wisconsin can knot things up with a victory in Madison on November 26. Breaking Wisconsin's streak would go a long way for new full-time head coach Tracy Claeys, who takes over for Jerry Kill after stepping in as interim coach last fall.
3. Ohio State Leads Michigan 13-2
It is hard to have more buzz in college football than Michigan does right now. Jim Harbaugh took the Wolverines to a new level almost immediately, winning 10 games in his first year at his alma mater, and spanking Florida in a bowl game. Michigan is the team garnering the most national title bets in Las Vegas, and with most of its top defense intact, many consider them the favorite to win the Big Ten East this fall.
In order to fulfill that destiny, however, the Wolverines probably need to get past Ohio State, and that has been a major issue in recent years. Michigan only has two wins over their archrival since the turn of the century. Last year's game was an absolute rout, with the Buckeyes taking it 42-13.
Ohio State loses a number of elite players from last year's team, but brings back perhaps the most important: quarterback J.T. Barrett. Michigan is still looking for its quarterback, but has a number of big time star returners, including dynamic hybrid defender Jabrill Peppers and shutdown corner Jourdan Lewis. Something will have to give in that match-up, but recent history certainly backs the Bucks.
2. Virginia Tech Leads Virginia 14-1
The Commonwealth State's premier college football rivalry hasn't really been much to look at since the turn of the century. During that period of time, Virginia Tech and Virginia have been on different tiers in the college football world; Virginia Tech has typically been a notch or two below the truly elite teams and Virginia hovers around mediocrity. It's showed when the two teams meet up in late November every year, as the Hokies have won 12 straight games against the Cavaliers and 14 of the 15 contests that have taken place during the 21st century. The games haven't even been close, with nine of the those Hokie wins being decided by more than 10 points.
Where this rivalry goes now is anyone's guess. Both teams made high profile head coaching hires this off-season. Virginia Tech pegged Memphis' Justin Fuente to replace legendary head coach Frank Beamer, and managed to hang on to defensive coordinator Bud Foster, who regularly fields one of the sport's toughest units. Virginia surprised everyone by snatching Bronco Mendenhall from BYU, where he had coached since 2005. Hopefully both coaches inject some new life in what has been an uninspired series for basically Virginia Tech's entire run in the ACC.
1. Navy Leads Army 14-1
The Army-Navy game is seen by many as the purest rivalry game college football has to offer. Class, dignity and honor are some of the words you'll hear people say when describing the players and coaches that make up these programs. It's why, no matter the teams' records or national standing, nearly every college football fan will tune into this game in early December.
That's been a good thing for this game lately, as this rivalry has been anything but competitive on the field since 2000. Navy has 14 straight wins over Army, dating back to 2001 when the Black Knights pulled out a 26-17 win.
There's a chance the gap is closing, however. From 2002-2010, Navy won by an average of 25.7 points. In the last five years, that margin has been just 9.4, with the 34-7 2013 Midshipmen win bolstering that number heavily. Last fall's Army-Navy game, a 21-17 Navy win, was a very tight one, with Army taking its first lead into halftime since 2009. Jeff Monken may find a way to flip this rivalry yet, but until further notice, this is the most lopsided major rivalry the sport has.
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